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Taking care of your teeth is an important, life-long task. While many of us don’t regularly think about how the food we eat or the drinks we love can damage our teeth and enamel, it is important that we make ourselves aware in order to help protect our teeth from future, costly dental work. While it may be impossible to eliminate damaging foods from your diet, this short list below should help give you an idea of items of which you can reduce or eliminate in your diet to help promote a healthy mouth.

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Citrus:
As much as you may love a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice or lemonade, citrus can be very damaging to your tooth enamel. The high acidity of citrus fruits can cut through your tooth enamel and expose your teeth to harmful bacteria. So while you may not be able to give up your favorite citruses, try reducing your intake to help combat damage to your teeth.

Sweets:
We’ve all been taught that sweets are bad for our teeth since we were children and that basic truth still stands today. Candies, cookies and cakes are all delicious but can be extremely high in sugar. Sugar can strip your teeth of their protective enamel while also inviting bacteria in to take up residence in your mouth. Continued exposure to sugary foods can have long-lasting negative effects on your oral hygiene. If you are prone to eating sweets, be sure to limit your intake and to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste immediately afterwards.

Simple Carbohydrates:
Much like sweets, foods that are high in simple, starchy carbohydrates (pastas, breads, crackers, etc.) are quickly transformed into sugar in your mouth and can linger for extended periods of time if you do not regularly brush. Once broken down into sugars, these foods act much the same way as candy does on your teeth: stripping enamel and promoting bacterial growth.

Sticky & Chewy:
Sticky or chewy foods such as dried fruits, caramels or peanut butter can get trapped in your teeth and linger for extended periods of time, promoting bacterial growth and eventual damage to your teeth. Be sure to rinse, floss and brush your teeth regularly if you choose to eat these foods in order to dislodge any food particulates that get left behind between your teeth.

Coffee, Tea & Alcohol:
Beverages such as coffee, black tea and red wine have the dual effect of staining your teeth while also cutting through enamel. Due to their high acidity, these beverages can contribute to the destruction of your protective tooth enamel. And tooth discoloration can be unsightly and may lead you to use tooth-whitening products, which also may be damaging to enamel. Try to reduce your consumption of these beverages to help keep your teeth healthy and looking beautiful.

It can be hard to eliminate the foods that can damage tooth enamel, but by simply being aware of these trouble foods and reducing your intake, you can help maintain good oral hygiene. For more information on how to keep your mouth healthy and happy, be sure contact the Windermere Dental Group.

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